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Growth hormone deficiency in Adult
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Growth hormone deficiency in Adult

Contributors: Casey Silver MD, Christine Osborne MD, Marilyn Augustine MD, Abhijeet Waghray MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is inadequate production or secretion of growth hormone from the anterior pituitary, leading to growth failure. Affected individuals should be tested for other pituitary hormone abnormalities.
  • Congenital form – Infants may have only slightly reduced birth length, but growth failure becomes apparent during the first 6-12 months of life. Bone age is usually delayed to a similar degree as is height relative to age.
  • Acquired form – Children may present with severe growth failure, delayed bone age, short stature compared to weight and age, immature facies with underdeveloped nasal bridge and frontal bossing, infantile voice, micropenis in males, and delayed puberty.
  • Acquired form – In adults, deficiency is usually in conjunction with other pituitary hormone deficits and can affect body composition, fracture risk, and quality of life.


E23.0 – Hypopituitarism

397827003 – Growth Hormone Deficiency

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Congenital short stature
  • Achondroplasia
  • Turner syndrome
  • Growth hormone receptor deficiency
  • Noonan syndrome
  • Short stature due to Malnutrition, endocrine disorder (such as Hypothyroidism or Cushing syndrome), systemic illness (such as renal disease), genetic syndrome, or Neglect
  • Skeletal disorders

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Last Reviewed:03/27/2019
Last Updated:11/14/2021
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Growth hormone deficiency in Adult
A medical illustration showing key findings of Growth hormone deficiency (Acquired) : Flat nasal bridge, Hypoglycemia, Maxillary hypoplasia, Muscle atrophy, Sparse body hair, Adiposity, Asthenia
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